During my look at the defensive positions that have Oregon State football fans worried, comments frequently came up about the OL. So, it’s time to give that a group a look headed in spring practice.
The Beavers need the OL to be a lot better for a chance to win. I know. That’s the biggest understatement of the year.
Returning players need to get healthy, bigger, stronger and meaner. A lot meaner is the second biggest understatement.
Let’s start with center.
Geoff Garner (6-5, 308): He got a lot of work at the end of the season when Grant Johnson was hurt. His experience gives him the edge to keep his spot.
Roman Sapolu (6-2, 269): Considered the center of the future, but an injured foot slowed his development early last season.
Michael Beaton (6-3, 300): Started out at guard, but got some work in practice at center. He’s more of a depth guy. I hear he’s a pretty good actor.
Josh Andrews (6-2, 295): The guy with the attitude hurt his knee at Wisconsin, missed some time but came back late in the season. His potential is still untapped.
Grant Enger (6-5, 279): Started out as a tackle backup, but moved to guard with Andrews out. He played well and now they can make a strong interior core.
Colin Kelly (6-5, 295): Started last season but was hampered with a ankle injury that needed offseason surgery. He’ll miss spring, but must be ready for training camp.
Michael Philipp (6-4, 308): Redshirted last year after two years of significant playing to get knee surgery. He returned to practice late so he should be in good shape for the spring and fall.
Darryl Jackson (6-6, 323): He was going to be looked at last season but a hip injury forced a redshirt. He game in big and trimmed down. I don’t know if that’s good or not, yet. Rivals.com says he’s a three-star athlete.
Derek Nielsen (6-4, 270): A walk-on who worked his way onto the two-deep by the end of the year due to injury. Could be the next standout walk-on?
OL finding their way
Justin Addie (6-2, 311): He could be a tackle with his size, but we’ll see after his redshirt year. He might be needed as a backup guard. Coach Mike Cavanaugh says he has that nasty streak that’s needed. Rivals.com rated him a three-star athlete.
David Vieru (6-3, 315): Redshirt walk-on with some good size. Time will tell with him.
Jake Welch (6-2, 308): Another big walk-on who redshirted last season.
There are six verbal commitments, but those guys are not likely to make an impact for a year or two. The exception is four-star recruit Isaac Seumalo from Corvallis High.
So, the Beavers have experience at all five spots if they go with the veteran lineup up Kelly, Andrews, Garner, Enger and Philipp. However, look for Addie and Sapolu, Jackson and Seumalo to push for playing time.